There are two things that could've easily made me miss out on this New York City gem. One, I don't venture to the Upper East Side very often. Two, I hate tapas bars for their typically overpriced and unfilling selection. But in this case, if I had stuck to instinct, I would have missed out on an exquisitely delicious night out.
First off, walking into an overflowing restaurant at 10PM early in the week is a really good sign. You walk into an enchanting room with high seats, a vibrant bar, all under a canopy of tree branches rich in hues of red. And the crowd isn't the only thing that's overflowing; there are wine bottles everywhere, from the walls to the decorative tree trunks. It feels like vacation... all the more reason to fill your glass.
If the ambience doesn't win you over immediately, the food definitely will. The menu is packed with tapas ranging from spiced seafood, savory meats, and mouthwatering flatbreads. The lamb skewers with chimichurri and spicy sauce was a delicious start to the night. In addition, the chorizo bits drenched in a rich wine sauce with bread for dipping was simple but an absolute winner.
The special of the night was just that, so so special. Bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese, served on endive leaves--this is a dish not to be missed. The sweet and salty flavors melted perfectly together as if they were made for each other and that crisp endive was the perfect last bite to refresh the palate.
No need for a flight. At Pil Pil, with great service and impeccable dishes, it's Spanish hospitality to the core.